Cutting the rope is scary and we may experience a few falls and fails, but it's how we cut the ribbon on the dreams God has given us.
Perspective is everything
It's Super Bowl week. Even non-sports fans will watch - just to catch the commercials. To give you a little perspective (and also make you feel older!): when Tom Brady played in and won his first Super Bowl in 2002, Patrick Mahomes was in kindergarten. Crazy.
JT will be kicking off (how about that for a football segue!) our brand new series on the Beatitudes called Blessed(?) this Sunday. Go ahead and start reading Mathew 5:1-12 to familiarize yourself with them. I sense this is going to be one of those series that impacts us for some time. So, don't miss - in-person or online!
FYI - We know inclement weather is always a possibility in February in Cincy, so watch for social media postings (specifically, Facebook) if we need to cancel one or both in-person services on a snowy Sunday. We are blessed to have an incredible online vehicle now which we can easily pivot to when needed. And don't forget about our weekly Star64 TV program at 10am each Sunday.
A great evening
Besides the Super Bowl, another February event you can participate in as a couple is our Extensions: Date Night on February 13 from 6-9pm. You can attend in-person or online and have a great time as you grow together as a couple. Attend online for $20 or, even better, attend in-person for $59 and have some amazing Kreimer's Bier Haus Bourbon Chicken for dinner.
Note: registration for the in-person option closes on February 7!
Register for Extensions: Date Night
It's all about Hope
We have always been about Hope around here. It's not only in our mission statement, it's in our DNA. We launched a brand new church website this month: ifoundhope.com. Check it out. It has some great new features to make it even easier for folks to find help and hope in Jesus!
Taking risks for God
I shared a powerful illustration this week on a Zoom call with some key leaders in our church. It was a reminder about how important it is for us to take prudent risks for God to advance His mission - especially during this COVID time when so many are shrinking back. We need to move forward in faith!
Author, Mark Batterson wrote that back in 1853, America hosted its first World's Fair in New York City. The organizers built a beautiful exhibition hall called the Crystal Palace, where the latest and greatest inventions were showcased. This is where a man named Elisha Otis pulled off one of the most remarkable stunts in the history of the World's Fair. Otis was the inventor of the safety elevator brake, but he was having a hard time selling his idea to safety-first skeptics. It was time to go big or go home.
He stood on an elevator platform hoisted high enough for everybody in the exhibition hall to see him. Then Otis, who had positioned an axman above the elevator, cued him to cut the rope! The elevator fell - a few feet. The crowd let out a collective gasp. And Elisha Otis pronounced, "All safe, ladies and gentlemen. All safe." Cutting the rope doesn't seem safe. Can I tell you what's not safe? Playing it safe! In fact, the greatest risk is taking no risks. Cutting the rope is about taking calculated risks.
When Elisha Otis pulled off this unforgettable sales pitch, there were only a few buildings in New York City taller than five floors. Why? No one wanted to climb the stairs! It was next to impossible to rent top-floor real estate. Then in 1854, Otis installed an elevator in a building on Broadway, and the rest is history. By 1890, there were 10 buildings taller than ten stories. By 1900, there were 65 buildings taller than 20 stories. And by 1908, there were 538 buildings in New York City that qualified as skyscrapers. More and more buildings got taller and taller, and something else happened. Higher floors started producing higher revenues! As long as you didn't have to climb the stairs, everyone wanted a room with a view. Elisha Otis had turned the world upside down. He didn't just invent the safety elevator brake; he made the modern skyscraper possible! At last count, New York City had 58,000 elevators. Those elevators make 11 billion trips every year. And that's just New York City! According to the Otis Elevator Company, the equivalent of the world's population rides on their products every three days. All because Elisha Otis had the courage to cut the rope!
So, Whitewater Church that I love, we've got to cut the rope every once in awhile. We didn't get to where we are by playing it safe. Remember, 'No risk it - no biscuit!' Know it's scary, especially if you're afraid of heights. And we may experience a few falls and fails. But cutting the rope is the way we cut the ribbon on the dreams God has given us! The 'Big Four' strategic initiatives I outlined last week will require risk, faith, and a ton of hard work, but lost people are so worth it. Someone paid the price for you - who will you pave the way to heaven for?